Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Reflections on the Election (hey! that rhymes)... I'm such a geek!

Well, in the end, I couldn't do it. I couldn't vote strategically. I had to vote with my heart, for the candidate that I wanted to send to Ottawa. And actually everyone I know who was also debating about voting strategically also voted with their hearts. I just couldn't vote for the liberal guy. I couldn't stand the guy running in our area and I also think the Liberals need a break from running the country. You just can't have that many big scandals and keep going. I didn't want to vote out of fear, either. In the end, it was the usual Conservative sweep of the entire Okanagan Valley from Penticton to Vernon (3 ridings). But at least I am comfortable with how I voted.

Upon reflecting on the results, I do think that it turned out for the best. The Liberals needed to get out of power. I am glad that it is a minority government. I am glad that the NDP picked up more seats - especially in BC. (did you notice that Terrace went NDP?) (probably not) I am glad because I think we need balance. I think that it is time we changed our adversarial system. I think we should have all minority governments and that they should have to work together - more of a concensus approach. I think we need every view to make the best decisions and to truly represent the entire country. You have to remember that democracy was developed in Athens which was a CITY state - not a huge, huge country. It is challenging to unify our vast country. I was also glad to see the Conservatives pick up seats in Quebec. If those rednecks in Quebec are going to vote for the right, I'd rather they voted for a nationalist party. With the way parliament is, I don't think that Harper will do anything extreme. It should be an interesting couple of years. I hope he lasts longer than Joe Clark.

Watching all the results come in and listening to all the commentary led me to think of the innate sexism still bubbling under the surface. Like the NDP getting the most seats since Ed Broadbent was the leader. . . Who were the leaders between Broadbent and Layton? 2 women. Alexa McDonough and Audrey McLaughlin. I don't really think the party has changed that much. I think people have an easier time trusting a man to run the country than a woman. And why is that? Most women handle the finances and run their homes... It's weird but I have to agree that for some reason, I do too on some deep, unconscious level. (although in my own defence, I did vote for a woman in this and the last election) Although I really admired Alexa and I thought she was very wise about somethings. And then Kim Campbell came on last night commenting on the election from Madrid (first Conservative government since she was booted uncerimoniously out). I thought she was extremely bright and intelligent and had some astute observations about the election and the challenges that lie ahead. Yet when she was Prime Minister the PC party lost official party status. Of course a lot of that had to do with Mulroney's antics but still. I am wondering if some of it has to do with the fact that she is a woman. I liked the guts of Sheila Copps - how she wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in and get down and dirty and tough with 'the boys'. And look what happened to her. Paul Martin jetisonned her like yesterday's trash. Of course there are other factors that come into all those things but I think that there is still some systemic sexism in us Canadians. I think one of the big reasons there are less women in Ottawa than men is because we would rather have mostly men. I think if the tables were turned overnight by magic and all the men were women and all the women were men, I think it would be very threatening. I think it would take us awhile to get used to all those women having so much power. Think of it. Really. Be honest.

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